July 2023 Florida County Republican Registrations Report Narrative
Note: The registrations numbers in this writing refer to active registrations, a subset of total registrations.
Florida Republicans continue the trend of making relative gains in voter registrations as Republican registrations relative to Democrat registrations increased by 33,072 registrations in July and by 257,557 registrations since the book closing for the 2022 general election. Florida Republicans now have a 563,507 relative registrations advantage over the Democrats. Republican registrations were 37.23% of total registrations and Republicans now enjoy a 3.99% of total registrations advantage over the Democrats (see tables here).
The Democrats lost 73,153 additional registrations in June, 284,639 registrations since the 2022 book closing, and 616,564 registrations since the 2020 election. The Republican registrations decreased by 40,081 in June, and the number of registrations which are neither Republican nor Democrat decreased by 77,026 registrations in July (see charts here).
Note: There have been some relatively large shrinkages in the number of registrations in Florida Counties. Given the large population growth that continues in Florida, this shrinkage seems odd. Leslie Swan, the Indian River County Supervisor of Elections, provided information that the law was changed to make it easier to shift voters into the inactive voter category, a category where the process of removing voters from the voter rolls is initiated.
Correlation Does not Disprove Causation-Rentership Ignored
Republican politicians generally believe that money is a causative factor in elections, and this explains why inboxes and texts are filled with monetary requests. Money is perhaps somewhat causative, but money tends to flow to candidates who are viewed as being likely to win their elections. Some monies given to politicians are not given to help politicians win elections, but to purchase favor with the politicians should the recipients of the campaign donations win their elections. Money is certainly correlated with election success, but money has not been proven to be causative.
Twenty-two states were chosen for analysis of their 2022 national congressional elections. In all state analyzed, the average rentership rates were substantially higher in the congressional districts captured by the Democrat candidates. Florida and California congressional elections were chosen for closer examination (see Table 1 of the attachment).
Variability in a process, in this case the process of electing congressmen, suggests that there exist significant factors associated with the process that are not being utilized. The variability of Republican success in winning congressional elections is huge. Republicans captured 20 of 28 (71%) of Florida’s congressional seats but just 8 of 52 (15%) California congressional seats.
In both California and Florida, the average rentership rates for the Republican held congressional seats were almost identical. The average rentership rates of districts with Democrat representatives were much higher in both states. It is hypothesized that California’s statewide 44.5% rentership rate versus Florida’s statewide rentership rate of 35.5% explains the outsized differences in the political orientation of the states’ congressional delegations!
High and low rentership rates correlate with Democrat and Republican election success. Correlation does not prove causation, but since causation may not be proved in elections where the vote is secret, correlation is preferred to not having correlation!
One of the vital tasks of Republican Executive Committees, and their members, is to grow the number of Republican voters. This report emphasizes the critical role policy, especially policies related to forcing The People into rentership, plays in this endeavor. Local officials will often determine local housing policy, which is critical to establishing the political orientation of an electorate, so local elections are vitally important.
A subject for Republicans in most Florida counties is the Universal Primary Contest (UPC). Supervisor of elections websites state that Florida is a closed primary state, meaning that in primaries, voters may only vote for candidates in their designated party. These postings are terribly misleading as Florida is a closed primary state, except in cases when it isn’t.
Republicans may wonder why their elected representatives are more moderate than the Republican electorate as a whole. This is at least partially thanks to the UPC. In primary elections where the candidates are all of one party, and if the winner of the UPC will not face an opponent in the general election (this seems redundant), the primary is open to all voters. The open primary electorate in an UPC election will be less conservative than an electorate made up of just Republican voters. Functionally, the most liberal of the Republican candidates will generally win these UPC primaries.
Perhaps the greatest concern of UPC elections is that the winner of the UPC election is awarded the seat without having to run in the general election. This crazy system gives motivated voters, such as those voters who have a personal financial interest in the operations of the local government, the ability to elect their candidates, who, owing to their more liberal political ideology, would be less likely to win in the higher turnout general election.
Non-partisan elections, specifically non-partisan school board elections, are similar. If one candidate gets a majority of the vote at the primary election, then the candidate is awarded the office in the low-turnout, motivated voter, primary.
The catch-22 of the existence of UPCs is that to eliminate the UPCs requires, barring a ballot initiative effort, that politicians who may owe their initial election success to winning in an UPC election, are the very same people who need to change the laws which led to their UPC election win!
Conservative Republicans need to get other conservatives Republicans to vote in the primary and to work to change the UPC. UPC elections should choose the top two candidates in a closed primary and have these top two vote getters face each other in the general election!
In 2020, the ballot initiative Amendment 3 proposed open primaries where the top two vote getters would face each other in the general election. This initiative was limited to some statewide offices. The initiative was defeated with 57.03% of the vote which required 60% of the vote to pass. An amendment along the lines of Amendment 3 is needed for local elections. The 57.03% of the voters supporting this proposed change to the system demonstrates that most of the voters do not like the current system.
A challenge Republicans face is generating Republican turnout in primary elections to overcome the vote of those with heightened interests. This year’s local elections will be a great opportunity to try different strategies to drive this turnout. Lesson learned from these voter turnout efforts should then help Republicans be better prepared for the more encompassing 2024 election season.
©Stephen R. Meyer, Vero Beach, Florida, August, 2023. All rights reserved.